REPORT A PROBLEM
Days pass and pass and pass. Weeks go by and by. No message. Not a single word. They say he's drowned. They can't know. They can't be sure. I'm waiting. Days pass and pass and pass. Then one day, a knocking at the door. Knock knock. It's him, I know it must be him. I run downstairs, towards the door. I fall. I cry out, pass out.
I wake up on the couch. I'm shaking. I'm cold. The entrance door is open. It is snowing. Icy downs are sailing into the hall. Melting on the carpet. And I cry.
She didn't know what it was that felt so wrong. If it felt anything at all. She wasn't sure what 'it' was supposed to be. All she knew was that something had died today. Inside. It hadn't been her fault. Just an accident, or so he had told her. And now, she lacked something. Desire, maybe. Hunger, for sure. She went to bed and pulled the blanket over her head. Then she fell asleep. She did not dream. Dream had withered away. And she slept. No one ever came to see her. Nobody came to wake her. And she slept.
A man was lying in the grass, asleep it seemed. The grass was a green jungle, home to ants and bugs. They crawled over the manís body, and tickled his face. But he did not wake up. The bugs moved on, into his nose, his ears, his mouth. The ants climbed into every opening of his body and ripped tiny bits out of his flesh. But the man slept on. Birds, black birds came, and started biting the man. But he did not wake up. He never woke up again. He was eaten up before he could.
It snowed today. First snow of the year. And even though I am supposed to be an adult and all grown-up about these things, the first snow of the year is still magical for me. Not in the witchcrafty, supernatural sense of the word. But that kind of magic that makes you sit down by the window and watch white snowflakes whirl around. Makes you forget time. And as the icy crystals are sailing down and cover the last colours of autumn, I am feeling strangely content, relieved of my worries. It is the magic of a new start.
Once upon a man there was a hat. A black cowboy hat. The kind evil guys in Westerns wear. But this was not a Western and the man of this story was not a cowboy. He was not even evil. But the hat was. Very. Very evil to look at. The man had bought it because he thought it was cool. But the man wasn't a hat-person and the hat knew it, took advantage of it. It gave him false confidence, nesting there on his head. And so it stayed there for the rest of the man's celibate life.
The soup was boiling. A thick, greenish broth. Fear inspiring fumes left the pot and spread in the kitchen. Had it been a witch's kitchen, or a wizard's, or a weird granny's one. Maybe even a young male student's kitchen wouldn't have been surprising. Not at all. But this was a small puppet kitchen in Marian's bedroom. She had studied the recipe very closely. She couldn't read yet, though. Anyway, the soup was boiling wildly now and spilled over. Marian got a bit nervous. It hadn't come to her mind that you can't actually cook things on a puppet stove.
No permanent damage done. He hadn't let it come to that. She couldn't have possibly been in love with him. And the chemistry wasn't good. She must have felt that. No real conversations, nothing deep going on there. The sex was alright. No initiative from her side, though.
She was completely down. He just broke up. No word why. She had loved listening to him, when he talked. He didn't talk much. And sometimes he acted a bit shallow. But he was a guy, what can one expect. The sex wasn't too great. He really didn't talk much.
Clearvoyant independence for mindless ruminations
Are hardly to be sought in the turning turmoil
Within the self.
Howling with the wolves, a siren's call,
Diversions for the restless minds,
Minding their own business until one day,
One dull darkness walks and crosses,
To the other side, ignoring the red light,
Waking us to face the flawless mechanisms,
Machinery designed for perfection,
Perfectly made for fallible beings.
The pedestrian will walk on, the thought will
Linger for a while and fade.
What are we looking for but
Diversions from the faceless flaws found in
Machinery perfectly made for fallible beings.
What is the function of a text except for being a text? Does a poem have another function than being a poem? Some first-semester students today claimed no. No poem has a function on a pragmatic level. Well. I don't agree. But what do I know? I'm not in my first semester. But what do I know? I haven't read the text by Leech and I probably won't in the near future. What do I know? I know that most of these students hadn't even read the poem we discussed in class. But what do I know? Discuss that.
He was making tee, feeling all comfortable, feeling all cosy, in his pink bath robe. Well, actually it wasn't precisely HIS pink bathrobe. It was his mother's. But it wasn't a Norman Bates kind of thing. He just liked the bath robe's fluffiness. And his mom was still alive and very well, thank God. The kettle began to whistle and he poured himself a cup. And one for his dad. His mom was probably partying with her girls on a cruise ship somewhere in the Caribbean. He nodded to his dad. His dad nodded back and his head fell off.
A tired spider is creeping up my spine, weaving a web of exhaustion that spreads over my body, my brain. I let myself fall back on a mattress of straw and down. I cover myself in a blanket of softest dreams that caress my skin with silky hands and then I sleep. And sleep. It is morning and I wake up, refreshed, almost awake. But my mind is still caught in silence, in fatigue. In the kitchen, somebody must have made coffee. The scent of fresh coffee...I have been living alone all my life. Who has made me coffee?
The world has turned without me but I don't mind. I don't mind if it's only for a day. It's winning time, not losing time. Time for yourself, whether you spend it in your ivory tower or someplace out there, it doesn't matter. As long as you feel good. Happiness can turn you into a philosopher I guess. But so can all negative emotions. Today, I'm a happy misanthrope. I don't like people in general, they destroy everything, make the ice caps melt. That sort of thing. And yet, I am happy because some people are actually really nice companions.
Friday 13. I couldn't have had a better day. The love of my life finally found me, I got a promotion, I got a dog, I got a new pair of glasses. I had the best coffee ever with the best bagle ever. The sun was shining. Not a single cloud. Fresh, cool air. A breeze from the sea. Perfect. Going jogging with the dog. Spending quality time with my family. Relaxing. Reading, watching great movies. I couldn't have had a better day. Can I probably ever have a better day? It has all come true...maybe I should jump.
John Barth is great, etc.
It was a cold but sunny. F_____ had just got himself a new remote for his TV-set. The old one had just vanished, just like that:
Finally, he would switch channels again. And subtitles.
Und Untertitel. Et subtitolados. Et sous-titres.
He would switch his livingroom. F______ was sure that G would like that. Sitting next to him. Watching telly. G had been looking at him like. For quite a while now. During the news. New breakout of.
E was looking pleased with himself. Or herself. Pleased with what he/she had written, etc.
I have read poetry today. And short stories. They were quite long. Too long for my taste and too long for the taste of the magazine they are supposed to be published in. Why do people always think that more words mean higher quality? Maybe we should set new conditions for submissions: 100 word limits. Or something like that. Who is interested in a 3000 word report on some summer school if you could sum it up in 250 and put a nice picture next to it. Pictures and blank spaces relax the eye. Our magazine is far too busy.
My grandfather used to store stars downstairs in his stellar cellar. He had them piled there, like golden apples stored for winter, glimmering and shimmering. Every night, he would pick one, polish it with a bit of spit and then take it to the lake right outside his house. "You can only catch them at night," he had told me and I didn't forget. The star was a tasty bait for tasty starfish. Many nights I was sitting there next to him, staring into the lake's black water, waiting for the fish to take the bait, the glimmering, shimmering star.
What is the point of endless debates? Endless konami dances that produce circles and circles and circles. A strange feeling in my gut is telling me that nothing can happen that has not been eaten before. Nonsense! Nonsense! Shadows fall down stairs and break their necks. Circles remain. Metaphors, strong imagery. Insert here:. What is education. What is a student. One question after the other, not marked as questions. What is the point? Really, what is the point of this text? Endless konami dances that produce circles and circles and circles and circles. What is the point of endless debates?
Today I got a new pair of glasses. None of those pink ones that give you that romantisised vision of everything. I got me reality glasses. I see more accurately now. I see how annyoing my boyfriend is. I've never noticed before. But now he does those things that make me want to throw myself from a very high building. Or well, actually they make me want to throw HIM from a very high building. And I see again how much I actually love writing. Writing about my stupid boyfriend. Stupid! You can't talk to him, he doesn't understand. Stupid!
Enter a young man in his twenties. He is wearing a dark suit. He has a limp. His expression is quizzical: He has stepped onto an empty stage. A sweeping sound. Someone is approaching. A janitor is cleaning the floor with a large broom. The young man watches the janitor, puzzled. The janitor does not mind him and keeps on sweeping the stage. He moves towards the young man. In order to not be swept away, the young man steps aside.
: isn't there supposed to be a play staged tonight?
: 'twas called off.
(exit sweeping janitor)
It was a sunny day. What a lame way to start a story, but it was sunny. However, the weather did not correspond to her inner turmoil. Nothing specific had caused this struggle within. Actually, it was specifically that one guy. That one guy she liked quite a lot. To be more accurate, she loved every fibre of his. They had so much in common and nothing at all. She could never have a relationship with this guy, knowing exactly that he was not right for her. How was she supposed to sustain their friendship? It was a sunny day.
No more excuses. What should he apologise for anyway? He hadn't done anything wrong. A fly was buzzing in the room. He was annoyed and grabbed yesterday's paper. He was going to kill the insect. It hadn't been his fault. He had been trying so hard but he couldn't just change like that. He was an adult, had a matured personality. You can't change that easily. The fly was buzzing around his head. Wait. It sat down. Slowly, he approached, newspaper in hand. He had never been much of a talker. And kitsch really wasn't his idea of romance. Die!
For the first time, she had become aware of it. Of the way she was thinking. The patterns. The circularity of these patterns. Recurring themes. And people. And places. Interactions. A second life, almost, there, in her head. Things were going quite differently. Every conversation a display of intelligence and wit. Relationships based on true reciprocity. Much more romance. Things were going all the way differently. But the discrepancy between the world concocted in her mind and reality was nagging at her. Not only mentally but also physically. Was there a way out? Now that she was aware of it?
Not much time to type today. Deadlines are approaching. Dead lines are annoying. No contact.
I wonder why my brain stores these unnecessary memories. Memories that do not contribute to who I am. Or do they? Who else would remember that one little nonsense remark you made and don't even remember yourself. Damn it, I'm paying attention to you every time you open your mouth. I can't help myself. I am annoyed. I guess I am also annoying other people. I guess I'm annoying you, right now. But I can't help myself. Remember me. Remember me. Remember me. Remember me.
Rain was drizzling against the window pane. People in the street, hidden from her gaze by huge, colourful umbrellas. His, a black one, was not among them. She kept on looking. Waiting. He had promised he'd come. The window was a bit drafty. Cold airy fingers were running down her spine. She slowly slid from the window sill, and slipped into her slippers. She needed a fresh cup of tea and shuffled off into the kitchen. She waited for the water to boil, poored herself a cup, waited for the tea to steep and returned to the window, to wait.
Silence is golden
Every single word a gift. Every single word a trap you can fall into easily. One hundred precious gifts, one hundred treacherous traps. What will it be?
She had a conversation the other day. Nothing special. Afterwards, she would have liked to punch herself in the face, knock her own head against a wall. She had talked to her boss.
He had thought about every single thing they would say. The entire conversation was laid out in his head, perfectly planned. And then, as he was finally face to face with her, alone, his mind went blank.
She let herself float, lying on her back, in the water, drifting along. The sun was briefly blocked by a small cloud that also just floated in the deep blue of the sky. Only the sound of water in her ears. Her thoughts, her worries, they were still there, but muted. For a little while, at last. Some quiet. Some peace. But her stream of consciousness would not rest, would not remain muted. And as she lay there, in the water, moving slowly in the lake's natural, unremarkable current, her mind developed into a maelstrom. And she was drowning.
Honestly, I don't feel like writing anything at all today. I can figure out why, and I actually have, but I won't tell you. I just type random sentences into this thing here and start wondering why I usually don't feel like 100 words were that much. Maybe I should have some tea, eat a banana, try to relax and just stop worrying about the bomb. And anything else. Why should I be worried about a bomb anyway? Which bomb? I'm yawning, I'm tired, I'm stressed out emotionally. I don't know how much longer I can take it. Stop it.
I saw a shoe in the mist at night. One single shoe, black leather, lying there, in the middle of the road. And I began to wonder, as I was walking by, whose shoe is this? Why is it only one? Had its owner been running from something or had suddenly decided to take one off and leave it there? Had the pair decided to break up; one moved one, the other lay down to rest, there, in the middle of the road? What had happened? And as I walked on, the fog grew thicker and veiled my mind.
A day like any other. Nothing special about it. Nothing at all. I wonder why, then give up. No use wondering about the extraordinary on an ordinary day. No use waiting for something other than routine to happen. I get up, look out of the window. Clouds. As always. After the usual morning rituals, I leave for the stables, as every day, to go for a ride. I step into the gondola that takes me across the channel, walk across the fields and finally greet my griffin Daisy in the stable. As always, I treat her with some lamb. Ordinary.
No one would have believed it, had they been told that Jenny's grandmother had actually been a model in her youth. The old hag. Apparently not really an old spinster. Not really a witch. Jenny knew very well how they talked about her granny. She didn't like it but she enjoyed knowing more than the rest of the world about her grandmother. All the glamour, all the stories were for her ears and her ears only. Dinner with Warhol. Dancing with David Bowie. Parties, many parties. And finally, how she met Jenny's gramps, agreed to marry him and have kids.
The Tip Jar